Letters to the Editor, Jan. 4

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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in Sonoma

EDITOR: ‘Twas 3 p.m., but still the night before Xmas, when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter. We looked outside to see what was the matter!

As dry leaves before the wild hurricane came. A big storm blew in and blew out our power.

We called PG&E to see what was the matter. Our block, alas, seemed to have no power.

PG&-No-E texted they were on it. Our neighbors (the Youngs and the Wynnes) have power and wished us a Happy Holiday. Bah! Humbug!

The weather turned nice. It was cool and the sky was bright.

We sat on the back porch and lighted a fire. It is 4:30 p.m. We start to drink. Why not? We played Trivial Pursuit. We were winning big but the game was called due to darkness.

PG&-No-E texts again. The blackout is limited to nine houses on our street. Oh goody.

It is dark at 5:30. We continue drinking.

Beth calls PG&-No-E to ask how long it takes. Under careful but pointed questioning, the poor PG & NO E guy gives up and admits nine houses is low on the totem pole, I meant the power pole. We are really drinking now.

We light every candle in the house. A couple of cocktails and candlelight and Beth wonders why I am looking at her like that.

By 6:30, PG&-No-E is no longer taking Beth’s calls. We open our presents. We are thankful but it doesn’t brighten the dark room.

By 7:30, we have had enough of the candlelight. We are starving. We have gas but cannot see to cook.

What to do? PG&-No-E is a no-show. We decide to shuffle into town for dinner.

Della Santina’s is open to our amazement. Better, it is only two blocks away. It is nice to be a local. Dan, the owner, spots us and finds us a cozy table for two. Adjacent to the front door. We are most thankful for a seat.

The place is rocking. Everyone is in their Christmas finery except us. We take off our jackets and realize we are dressed for a night in front of the TV. People pretend not to notice. After all, it is Christmas and Sonomans are nice.

Beth gets the petrale sole special and I get the pesto. A nice bottle of pinot and our spirits brighten. A young man, who may be 15, saunters into the restaurant and plays a couple of tunes on his violin. Perfect! Just when we think it can’t get better, Dan breaks out in song. Ava Maria has always sounded better but not tonight! It is wonderful. We are grinning from ear to ear. We are really in the Christmas spirit now.

It is after 9 as we make our way back down Napa Street. It is now raining! Of course we did not bring an umbrella. At 5 there was not a cloud in the sky. But we strolled arm in arm and relived the evening, giggling in the rain.

When we rounded Third Street, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but two PG& E trucks loaded with gear.

We greeted the PG&-No-E (still) as conquering heroes. I turned on my iPhone flashlight as we enter through my office out back. Lo and behold, there was Santa. He never looked so good. He is called electricity.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Joseph M. Aaron


From the Island of Misfit Jokes

EDITOR: Somehow, I am now reminded of a story about a Russian named Vladimir who was not a communist, but his brother Rudolph who was. They were the twin sons of Mikhail Gorbachev and in line for separate major careers in Russian politics.

While Rudolph and his wife were walking along the Kremlin plaza one day it began to rain and, as the evening wore on, the rain drops began to almost freeze into snow... but not quite. They were actually more of a “slush” than a snow. Sort of right on the edge.

Rudolph considered himself an expert at almost everything he attempted, including predicting the weather. His wife made a comment saying, “Oh Rudolph, we had better return home, it is beginning to snow.”

He replied, matter-of-factly: “That’s not snow, it’s rain.”

She stuck out her hand to catch a bit of the falling slush, and said, “No, honey, it’s snow.”

He extended his own hand to catch some of the precipitation, and stated flatly, “It’s rain.”

She raised her voice to repeat, “It’s snow.”

He raised his slightly higher to say, “No, it’s rain.”

“But,” she demanded, “look at this stuff in my hand, it has a flake to it, it must be snow!”

He stopped walking to turn and dramatically face her to settle the matter, by now shouting aloud the fact about which she was seemingly clueless: “Well, ‘Rudolph the Red’ KNOWS rain, dear!”

Douglas Chambers


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